The Best Man - no truer words were ever spoken
I'm getting the impression that people think the writers are putting Nick up to be "better" than Sam. Well, I don't think they are. AT ALL. At least, if they are it's not working on me and many others. I love Sam Swarek just as much as I've ever loved him. Scratch that. I love him more than I did. Not because I don't have a moral compass or because I crave McSwarek, no matter what. I love Sam as an individual because we are given all this background information, all this insight into his motives, into his feelings that makes it easy for me to understand him. Because in everything he does there is his huge heart behind all of it. I'm not saying that that excuses all his actions and that there shouldn't be repercussions. But I'm saying that I love his heart and that I know where he's coming from. Always. That has a lot to do with the writing and thought they put into Sam's character (something they're not doing for Nick because he isn't the romantic lead of the show) and with the unique gift of Ben Bass.
Sam didn't drag Andy into anything. She was already coloring outside the lines by not telling Frank about Marlo's condition. Someone on a fan board put that very well, so I'm gonna quote her:
"First of all, Andy started the ball rolling on this cover-up on her own, first by promising not to disclose the fact that Marlo is bi-polar and second when she was standing there in Ford's house with Oliver and Luke and just taking it all in. Then, when she went canvassing and talked to that woman - Andy was NOT taking any notes. She had her notebook in hand but did not even open it. That to me was not by accident. She then proceeded to call Sam - knowing full well that Marlo was in a full-blown manic state. What exactly is it that she expected Sam to do? She knows first hand what "acting like a cop" means to Sam. "
What Sam did for Marlo he would have for anyone he cared about because that's just the guy he is. We saw it in S3 when he was willing to have Oliver's back, "right or wrong" (3x06), no matter the cost to him. We saw him do that for his . this season in 4x07. And we saw him doing that for Andy, when her dad was in trouble in season 1 (1x11). Everything Sam did in 4x11 is absolutely in line with the guy I got to know & love since season 1. Of course he had Marlo's back. And he protected her at all costs. Even if that might have cost him Andy.
What I am saying is this: none of what I saw this season made me love Sam less. Rather, the opposite. He's been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders ever since Andy left and I wanna see this weight be lifted off of him. "Deception" showed us Sam Swarek as he's been presented to us from day one. A guy with a huge heart, committed to his job and the people he cares about, willing to have their back no matter the personal cost. A cop who's willing to color outside the lines if he really believes in the cause. And the fact is that Marlo was innocent, and I'm pretty certain that even if they had gone to Frank, he would have tried to protect her as well considering her condition.
Sam's flawed, like all of us, but unlike all of us he has a truly good & constant heart and, in spite of everything he's been through early in his life, he's managed to become the "best man".
Nick has nothing on Sam. Nothing.